Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind | NC Museum of Art | Arts | Indy Week

Arts

Leonardo da Vinci’s Codex Leicester and the Creative Mind

When: Oct. 31-Jan. 17 2016

LEONARDO DA VINCI'S CODEX LEICESTER AND THE CREATIVE MIND

NORTH CAROLINA MUSEUM OF ART, RALEIGH

SATURDAY, OCT. 31–SUNDAY, JAN. 17

Owning one of da Vinci's scientific journals is a rare achievement in collectorship. It's what joins Bill Gates with the Earl of Leicester, who took possession of one of perhaps 30 notebooks that da Vinci kept and shared it with the world in 1717—under his own personal banner, as the "Codex Leicester." In 1994, Gates shelled out $30 million for it, making it the world's most expensive book. Wisely, and with characteristic restraint, he didn't rename it Codex Bill. Letters, writings and even grocery lists of great artists convey to us the physical person, not merely the name we connect with his or her work. Seeing these sketches, writings, diagrams and other results of the movement of da Vinci's own hand brings us closer to the man than a glimpse at Mona Lisa through layers of bulletproof plastic. Using right-to-left "mirror-image" writing, da Vinci concerns himself with water-related phenomena, which leads to more universal questions, like why the sky is blue. 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Thurs. and Sat.–Sun.; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Fri., $12–$18 (under 6 free), 2110 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, 919-839-6262, www.ncartmuseum.org. David Klein

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